Predator screenwriters Jim and John Thomas are suing Disney for the rights to the franchise that began with their famous 1987 film.
Jim and John Thomas, the writers of the 1987 film Predator, are suing Disney for the rights to the film. The sci-fi action film has become a classic in the decades since its release. Predator introduces Arnold Schwarzenegger as Major Alan “Dutch” Schafer, the leader of a specialized team working to rescue hostages in a rainforest. However, along the way, Dutch and his comrades face off against the Predator, a terrifying alien who follows them throughout their mission.
Predator ended up spawning a full-fledged franchise, which includes sequels, novels, video games, and a crossover series in Alien vs. Predator. The Thomas brothers returned for Predatorfirst follow-up film Predator 2, which was released in 1990. However, they weren’t part of the more recent third and fourth installments of the franchise, Predators (2010) and The predator (2018). A Predator the restart has been going on for some time, with 10 Cloverfield Lane director Dan Trachtenberg is leading the project. However, this film now faces a potential roadblock.
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Through THR, the Thomas brothers filed a lawsuit against Disney, which acquired the Predator franchise through the purchase of 20th Century Fox. The Thomas brothers are now looking to take advantage of the copyright law’s termination clause, which may allow them to reverse the transfer. This is happening now because the authors have to wait a while, probably 35 years in the case of Predator. In response, 20th Century Disney filed its own lawsuit in hopes of retaining the rights to the franchise.
Whereas Disney hopes to do Predator 5 and the likely future franchise payments as well, it makes sense that he seeks to retain the rights. Predator is an extremely recognizable property and has been a big hit for Fox. Due to the timing of the acquisition, Disney has yet to capitalize on the franchise too much and the company is now looking to fix it.
Of course, it is understandable that the Thomas brothers are interested in reclaiming the rights. They are the brains behind Predator, so it makes sense that they still have a vested interest in property and its future. While a massive corporation like Disney may have more power behind it and therefore be more likely to win the rights, copyright cases aren’t always that straightforward. Screenwriters may very well have a chance. However, with the Predator restart on the line, it seems likely that Disney will do whatever it takes to come out victorious.
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